At Coral Bay, the reef is only metres from shore. You can swim out straight from the beach. I decided to go for a bit of a walk one Sunday and escape the crowds. I quickly came across a quiet stretch of sand, threw on my snorkel gear, grabbed my GoPro and set off for a swim.
I noticed a few jellyfish, but didn’t think much of them until I came across a turtle close to the surface feeding on them. I thought for sure the turtle would swim away when he saw me, but he didn’t seem to mind me at all. I swam alongside him for about 15 minutes as he gave me a tour of the beautiful reef. I was so excited when he didn’t swim off.
I had some trouble with my mask leaking water because I was smiling so much. Once back on land I went through the photos and was so happy I was able to capture the experience with this relaxed turtle as he went about his day.
I was on a tour from Perth to Broome and this shot was taken in the first gorge we visited at Kalbarri National Park. The guide took us to the Z Bend in Kalbarri National Park, where they showed us a cliff we could jump from into the water.
Kalbarri National Park was a place our family visited often when we were growing up on school holidays. The whole experience was incredible, to have so many rock pools and rock formations to explore without another soul in sight.
There are three stops on the Australian leg of the WSL Championship Tour: the Gold Coast, Bells Beach, and Margaret River. From my perspective — an American surf journalist — it’s a bit of a Goldilocks and the Three Bears situation. But in Margaret River I found a place and a contest that were jusssst right!
This was my first visit to Cable Beach, and I couldn’t wait to do the infamous camel ride at sunset. I look back at my time in Broome and Cable Beach with a smile and see it as the highlight of my journey around Australia.
Virginia Willcock is the chief winemaker at Vasse Felix winery, where she turns beautiful Margaret River grapes into delectable wine. She lives in Margaret River town, walking distance from the main street and close to the river and bush.
The Margaret River region is just a three-hour drive south from Perth, and for anyone thinking about visiting the Margaret River region for five days (or more), Virginia shares her tips on some places you shouldn’t miss.